We are not Vegan, but I have a stack of vegan cook books just because it makes life easier when it comes to Roo’s food allergies. It already cuts out the dairy and eggs, and nuts are an easy thing to leave out or replace. They don’t usually have any real “job” as far as making a cake or baked item perform as it should.
So after trying out a bunch of different recipes (mostly from vegan cook books or online), I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is my most used line up of ingredients.
This makes 24 cupcakes or two 8-9′ rounds for a layer cake… or cut it in half for a quick small cake or 12 cupcakes… ( I probably didn’t need to add that… but whatevs…) I like to make a big batch of cupcakes and freeze some in case something comes up and I need a “birthday” cake type dessert in a jif to bring to a party.
A little side note here is that I also find a big difference when I only use a fork to mix this recipe. You can mix it with a spoon, but it’s just as easy and doable with a fork. Takes a bit more patience, but it comes out more fluffy and moist. One of the biggest problems I always had baking without eggs was trying to get the cake less dense… and I could be crazy, but I feel like substituting the fork for the spoon is the key.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix all dry ingredients together. You can throw em’ in a big bowl, or you can throw em’ right in the pan you’re going to bake them in. If you’re using a square or rectangular pan, you can pretend it’s your zen garden and run the fork through in pleasing patterns whilst crushing any flour, sugar, or cocoa power rocks that may have formed.
And if you are just mixing this in the pan you’re going to bake it in, you won’t need any kind of baking spray. This is the “less stuff to wash later” method. Not suggested if you’re making a layer cake… but if you’re just going to leave it in there to frost and cut up, it’s the quickest and easiest way.
2 cup warm water
2/3 cup Canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 apple cider vinegar
Once all your dry ingreds looks uniform, start adding the wet ones one at a time until completely blended with the fork. The oil is the toughest to incorporate, but just keep running the fork around the edge and kinda fold the oil in until blended. I always leave the vinegar till last, it’s doing the job the eggs got fired for and it can’t sit around like that too long so try to have your oven ready as soon as it’s mixed.
I used to worry about over-mixing with a spoon, but again, I don’t think I’ve ever over-mixed with the fork so don’t be afraid to keep blending until you’ve got a good consistent texture.
Bake for 30 mins at 350 if you’ve got two 8′ round pans or a half batch square.
Bake for 20 mins at 350 for cupcakes
Bake longer if you’re using a bigger or deeper pan. I would start with 30 mins and just keep testing after. I’ve never actually made a batch this size in one big pan so … use your judgement. :)
And the great thing about this cake batter is that I have no problem letting my daughter lick the bowl (shown above) since there are no raw eggs or dairy in there, it’s basically liquid chocolate sugar… how could that taste bad?
As far as frosting, you can throw a quick glaze on top with confectioners sugar, water, (soy milk or a safe butter alternative), add an extract for flavoring… etc. This is perfect if you’re making a chocolate bundt cake.
If it’s for a birthday party or something where I want to decorate it, I usually just use the Pillsbury frostings. (Ya know… coz you want your kid to bounce off the walls a little after consuming your confections… hey, it’s a party right?) But they generally don’t have any dairy and are just a pile of sugar and soy ingredients in attractive colors topped with coordinating sprinkle type decorations.
And the above picture is proof that this cake can stand on it’s own… if your child steals a cupcake pre-frost… you know you’ve got a keeper.